(Reuters) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola does not plan to bring in any players during the January transfer window but says the club must refresh the squad at the end of the season.
City did not replace captain Vincent Kompany in the close season and lost Aymeric Laporte to injury, leaving Guardiola with just two senior centre back options in John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu has been linked with a January move to City but Guardiola said he would keep faith in 34-year-old Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, who has been deployed at centre back in recent months.
“I don’t want any players in January,” Guardiola told reporters.
“We could not sign a centre back (in the summer). Nico (Otamendi) continued and we decided to adapt Fernandinho in this position and that’s all.”
Guardiola said the club would assess those players out of contract when the season is over, with Spanish midfielder David Silva already confirming his decision to leave.
Fernandinho’s deal expires in June.
“There will be a need to regenerate,” Guardiola added.
“David has confirmed he is leaving. Fernandinho doesn’t know, but its normal when players reach this age and stage in their lives. Of course we have to replace them (if they leave).”
Champions City, who have slipped to third in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, visit Burnley later on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)